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What does it mean to be Scottish?

Posted on August 03, 2014 by

The above is a deceptively simple question and one to which the answer, of course, is as varied as the people you might ask it of as we approach September’s vote.

The debate so far would suggest that at one end of the scale, we’re a nation of poor wee souls, much safer shackled to a United Kingdom that gifts us stability and security in the face of choppy global waters and saves us from the hassle of making crucial political decisions for ourselves. At the other end, we’re a proud nation of untold prosperity, a nirvana of wealth and social justice primed to emerge after our divorce from our oppressors in Westminster.

For anyone in between and still grappling with their identity, the Economist helpfully informed us recently that being Scottish means painting a Saltire on your face, wearing a Jimmy hat and shouting at nothing in particular. Glad that’s sorted then.

The truth is that very few of us will see ourselves in these broad-brushed caricatures of Scottish identity. I certainly don’t. In fact, the more I force myself to think about it, the clearer it becomes that I don’t have a bloody clue what it means to be Scottish.

Or at least I didn’t until last month.

gaza

For much of last month I watched the news from Ukraine and Gaza unfold with growing horror. I watched families and lives devastated by the actions of people they have never met for reasons they will never understand. I watched worlds blown to smithereens in the shape of aircraft debris raining from the sky and family homes obliterated by mortar shells. And one more thing.

I read about a father in Gaza gathering the remains of his two-year old son in a shopping bag.

The hours of news coverage I’d watched and images of grief and destruction I’d seen up until I read that tweet were horrific, but there was something otherworldly and unfathomable about them. My world does not involve passenger planes being shot out of the sky and guided missiles annihilating families in their homes.

But I do have a two-year-old son. I worry about him a lot. About him banging his head on the table, watching too much television, not eating enough fruit, sticking his finger in electrical sockets and even about him peeing on the couch.

I don’t ever worry about having to gather his remains in a shopping bag.

The tweet made me feel physically sick, maybe because I have a son the same age, or maybe just because I’m a human being. I watched more news. Rumours emerged that the Malaysian Airlines plane was destroyed by pro-Russian separatists wielding military-issue weapons cataclysmically more sophisticated than the people firing them. Scrolling bars on the screen revealed more children killed by bombs in Gaza for the crime of playing on the beach.

Politicians fell over themselves to condemn one side or the other, depending on which dog they backed in the fight. David Cameron lambasted Hamas for their role in the escalating violence in the Gaza strip; Barack Obama took pot shots at Russia for their role in supporting separatists in Ukraine and, less than 24 hours after the fragments of plane smouldered on the ground and the children were bombed on the beach, the world settled back into the familiar rhythm of powerful people in suits blaming each other for the world’s ills.

Until I read another tweet. The second in one day to stop me in my tracks and change my perspective; 140 characters that made me realise what it means to be Scottish – or at least what I want it to mean.

While Cameron, Obama, Putin and Netanyahu took to our television screens to blame someone else for the bloodshed, Scotland’s government released a statement of its own. Humza Yousaf, Minister for External Affairs and a man I’ve never heard of before and confess to know nothing about, made me feel very proud to be Scottish.

In the statement Yousaf spent little time apportioning blame for the bloodshed (and the little he did was cast upon both sides) and focused instead on the victims, offering refuge and sanctuary in Scotland for Palestinians and people displaced as a result of the conflict in Gaza.

Approaching the referendum, it would be much easier for the government to take a back seat on this dangerously divisive issue, trot out the expected platitudes and move swiftly on to more parochial matters. Immigration, after all, is a toxic political grenade and the media demonisation of refugees and immigrants across the UK means that the government’s offer to accept refugees from the conflict in Gaza is certain to get a mixed reception at best.

But isn’t this what we’re all about as a nation? Isn’t this the social justice I hear people on both sides screaming out for?

I have referendum fatigue. I have a craving for knowledge that has been thwarted by claim and counter-claim about the economy, defence, Europe, currency, borders and oil. I have drawn my own conclusions that, on many of these fronts, nothing much will change significantly.

Men in suits will still blame each other for the world’s ills, we probably won’t have borders, we probably won’t have nuclear weapons in our waters, we’ll probably still use some version of the pound, we’ll probably stay in the EU. Oil, at some point or another, will definitely run out.

All of this matters, of course, but none of it will dictate my reasons for voting Yes in September like what Humza Yousaf and David Cameron have done in the last 24 hours will. Their respective responses to the atrocities in the Gaza strip has solidified in my head what I’ve known in my heart from the outset of this debate – things won’t change until we change them.

We can’t vote for the status quo and hope for something new and improved to emerge as a consequence. We can’t expect to have our faith in politicians restored until we take the chance to ensure that the ones that serve us are the ones we voted for. We can’t condemn those who use violence as a means of resolving conflict while we sit with nuclear weapons on our waters.

Let England lurch to the right. Let Nigel Farage cosy up to the BBC and disseminate his politics of intolerance. Let England leave the EU and close its borders. We don’t have to be part of that.

Let us define what it means to be Scottish as a willingness to welcome and embrace a father who has just had to collect the remains of his son in a shopping bag as a result of a conflict fought by people we don’t know for reasons we’ll never understand.

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    1. 03 08 14 17:14

      What does it mean to be Scottish? | Scottish Independence News

    195 to “What does it mean to be Scottish?”

    1. turnbul drier says:

      Wow..

      There is no other comment necessary.

    2. David Mooney says:

      Wow. Powerful thoughts Ryan. I wish I was able to articulate my frustrations, hopes and fears so eloquently.

    3. mogabee says:

      Heartily agree Ryan, well said.

    4. john ferguson says:

      Ryan, you have put into words what many of us think. The rotting corps that is westminster is happy being a rotting corps, therefore the only thing to do is leave it rotting and start afresh with a vision for all things better.

    5. Thepnr says:

      Ryan you have made me cry. I’m getting on a bit but still have a heart, that’s why I will vote Yes and do all I can to persuade others.

      Here is your words in pictures, do not watch this if you can’t stomach the truth.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtK-QCiD-FE

    6. David Turner says:

      Powerful and heart wrenching article.It says it all for me.

    7. TJenny says:

      Wow – this is exactly the kind of parliamentary representatives I want for my country and not the corrupt WM types who use WMDs to stomp and strut their stuff across the world for their own nefarious ends.

      More power to your pen Ryan. 🙂

    8. Rosa Alba says:

      Absolutely this. Nothing galvanised it like the fact we stopped to offer help. Good Samaratin. And I hope Alex speaks on this tonight if he speaks.

      For me it was seeing a man w his dead disabled sister, whom they had had to leave while fleeing. And the poem I read, 58 seconds. Even medicated and well and in calm circumstances I could not get my son out of a house at short notice in a minute. He would not cope. Far less under bombardment and without meds. He would freeze or meltdown, he would be too big for me to carry. I could not move hi, and would have to stay with him (I could not leave him) even if we had somewhere to go.

    9. Brian Mchugh says:

      I couldn’t finish reading this at this particular time… I promise to read all of it though.

    10. Luise says:

      I wholeheartedly agree with you!

    11. Alistair Grapevine says:

      john ferguson says at 5.24pm:

      Second that

    12. Cindie says:

      Well said Ryan. I so agree john ferguson. The Westminster politicians don’t have a backbone or an ounce of moral fibre between them

    13. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Here on the YES side of things in Scotland and everywhere, we salute you Stu and Wings Over Scotland.

    14. msean says:

      Great piece and a very good non monetary reason for voting yes.

    15. David Milligan Lvss says:

      You read my thoughts Ryan. I’ve been telling folk about this for days now. I’m proud as hell and that’s the kind of Scotland I want to see from now on.

      Scotland will conquer the entire world, not with bullets and missiles and bombs, but with genius, Scots know-how and compassion for our fellow man.

      Lets become that guiding light in the darkness.

    16. Rookiescot says:

      I see a lot of trully awful footage from wars around the planet on Liveleak.

      http://www.liveleak.com/

      Please be aware that much of the stuff on there is brutal. If it says adult content it MEANS adult content and think carefully before you click on it.

      I honestly believe if some of the footage from that site was widely viewed by the general population there would be far fewer wars.

    17. Brotyboy says:

      At long last someone involved in the Scottish Government has had the cojones to stand up and say something positive about this situation.

      Political Zionism is a racist creed. Gerald Kaufman puts it well here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GQDT9t2lRs

    18. Macart says:

      Doesn’t need comment, just agreement.

      Well said Ryan.

    19. CameronB Brofie says:

      The thing is, I don’t think it is possible to have an imperialist mindset and respect human dignity at the same time. 😉

    20. TootsCapoot says:

      Thank you so much for this. In just over a month, Scotland truly can help to start pointing the way towards a better future, one of real hope with people at the very heart of it. In a world that seems weary and floundering, a new direction is sorely needed and we must, with a yes vote, accept that challenge.

    21. Brotyboy says:

      I don’t think it is possible to have an imperialist mindset and respect human dignity at the same time.

      Agreed.

      BTW, well done on your medal.

    22. Yongibongi says:

      Not generally given to tears but that nearly did it! I hadn’t heard the shopping bag report but I mean …..good grief…. can you even imagine it?! I’ve got five kids and have had exactly the same concerns / paranoia about them as they grew up as Ryan including one who very nearly died, but a random bomb (and it is entirely random, sadly) and a shopping bag – what the fuck!?
      I had heard the Hamza Yousaf announcement however and had rather stupidly assumed (at my age…really!) that this was a fairly normal response internationally so didn’t pay much attention to it other than thinking “that’s right”. Again, how stupid am I? I’ve looked all over the interweb after reading this and it appears to be unique. I’m astonished and disgusted. I don’t particularily care about the uniqueness but I do care about not just the sentiment but the pragmatism. I’m with you Ryan, this is the kind of society I want to be part of.

    23. Bill McLean says:

      David Milligan Lvss – brilliant “lets become that guiding light in the darkness”. Darkness describes Westminster and British politicians perfectly!

    24. Paradox says:

      We can speak and act for ourselves through our elected politicians. When I herd about that incident I cried.

      Mans inhumanity to man. Not in my name. Humza Yousaf & Ryan Millar can I walk with you both in common cause, and any others who feel the same.

    25. CameronB Brofie says:

      Brotyboy
      It wasnae me mate. The problem is, I have such a common name. I think you’ll find the swimmer(?) is in the other camp. One of his tweets got some coverage here, a while back. I pointed out we are a different hair colour, at the time (not that I have that much). 😉

    26. Bob Sinclair says:

      This & Wee Ginger Dug’s ‘Rain in Carntyne’ 2 of the most affecting articles I have read in a long long time.

    27. Robert Craig says:

      Thank you for this article, tone and expression

    28. Tom Berwick says:

      I read wings over Scotland dilligently daily and is one of my main sources for researched and documented answers to questions and sound arguments when I am discussing Independence with my undecided friends ( who are now very much decided and who I discuss WOS posts all the time. You have surprised me, shamed me, angered me and filled me with hope with the posts I read. today you have upset me with confirmation on this governments stance on world affairs but you have also filled me with pride in Humza Yousaf and the Scottish perspective. This post had me choking back tears of grief for that father and his lost child but also for the Western world which seems to have lost it’s way where humanity is concerned. Let’s do the right thing in September and vote YES. Let’s create a caring society in a country full of people like Humza Yousaf and with room for the unfortunates of the world who need justice and friendship. Thank you again for this moving piece.

    29. cearc says:

      Offering residency to some of the stateless refugee families trapped in Gaza would be a wonderful gift that an Independent Scotland could give.

    30. jon esquierdo says:

      This is what happens when the Bilderbergs and the financial institutions and the arms industries call the tune. Politicians are in the hip pockets of their masters

    31. YESGUY says:

      Thank you Ryan

      Powerful stuff.

    32. disagree says:

      So our country would become a haven for people who voted in a terrorist organization, whose declared aim is the destruction of Israel?

    33. donald anderson says:

      It means being wee, poor and stupit, with a hostile meejah and a lumpen numtpy party, full of chancers, opportunists and self haters, self loathers and self racist, plus two religious fitba tams with anti Scottish bams for supporters. In other words, the perfect colony.

      Did I miss something?

    34. Thomas Barrowman says:

      I second that! WOW

    35. cearc says:

      I have been leaving Jehad Saftawi’s livestream on at night. It does not aid sleep.

      The drones, oh, the drones. You can hear them all the time. Even when the feed goes down they still seem to be in your head. It must be driving people there insane.

      Limited livestream time with battery/power problems but he usually posts on twitter when he is about to start it.

      https://twitter.com/jehadsaftawi

      http://www.ustream.tv/channel/jehadels

    36. Grouse Beater says:

      The Scottish Government sent £500,000 to Gaza to assist with their rebuilding.

      Every time Israel bombs Palestinians it bombs locations, places, and facilities paid for my British and European grant aid. Millions of pounds. Our money.

    37. Colin Erskine says:

      “things won’t change until we change them”
      That’s it. We get the politicians we deserve. Engage and affect change.
      Great post.

    38. Juteman says:

      Of course Israel would love the Palestinians to leave Gaza for other countries. That is what they are trying to force them to do.
      I hope Jim Murphy and other Labour Friends of Israel are very proud.

    39. Andy-B says:

      Very good and touching article Ryan, to see whats happening in Gaza and Palestine just now makes me very sad indeed, knowing that the Westminster government sells arms to Israel, only adds to to the many reasons I’m voting yes.

      I know if we in Scotland were independent we’d do much more to help people like the Palestinians, many people in Scotland are disgusted by whats taking place in Gaza (Genocide) I see West Dumbartonshire Council are flying the Palestinian flag over there council building, as a sign of protest.

      This link will shock you, it shocked me.

      http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/07/31/373518/israeli-sniper-admits-killing-13-kids/

    40. Grouse Beater says:

      Let England lurch to the right. Let Nigel Farage cosy up to the BBC and disseminate his politics of intolerance. Let England leave the EU and close its borders. We don’t have to be part of that

      No, but we do need to be strong enough to resist it, and to help revert the malaise by sure example. That can only mean we are a nation state with our own ethics, standards and attitudes, neither borrowed nor imposed.

      Thank you for an eloquent essay.

    41. Nana Smith says:

      Ryan, I have watched the horror in Gaza and have been sick many times.

      The rotting corpse of Westminster has its fingerprints over this atrocity just like every other atrocity where they provide weapons.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/revealed-britains-role-in-arming-israel-9643902.html

      BP and Tony Blair

      http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2489992/armed_robbery_in_gaza_israel_us_uk_carve_up_the_spoils_of_palestines_stolen_gas.html

    42. Ealasaid says:

      You moved me to tears and I totally agree.
      Not on the same scale but can I share with you two things from the CWG that made me proud to be Scottish.
      One was the paraplegic race that the English ‘wolf man’ (I think) deservedly won. At the back of that race was someone from one of the African nations who dropped further and further behind as the race went on. At the end as the other competitors were mulling around and getting interviewed, in the background I could hear that person arriving as the crowd roared him round the field as loud as the winner. Though it was never mentioned, when the times went up I noticed the personal best for the last place.
      The other was a few people shouting for the underdog Uganda in the Rugby sevens. This was taken up by the rest of the crowd and almost 50,000 in Ibrox were shouting for some very bemused Ugandan players. They played their hearts out but did not get through, but they did a lap of honour to thank the crowd and sign the autographs they were asked for.
      No medals, but surely we gave them memories to treasure.

    43. Liquid Lenny says:

      About fifteen years ago, I stopped sending Xmas Cards, instead I setup a direct debit to pay a small amount of a fiver a month to MAPP Medical Aid for Palestine.

      With Facebook etc we don’t need to keep in touch with Christmas Cards anymore, instead why don’t you set up a direct debit to
      http://www.map-uk.org/

      Ryan that was a very powerful statement, thank you.

    44. Thepnr says:

      Israeli leaders have lost the plot and to think that Westminster support them is outrageous. Not in my name!

      Just fucking stop the bombing.

    45. G H Graham says:

      The reason that David Cameron & the British Establishment won’t robustly criticise Israel is due to the large quantity of taxes the Treasury in London collects from British companies that make munitions, weapons & systems designed to kill people.

      Israel is one of the biggest customers for British exports of so-called “dual-use” equipment capable of both civilian and military deployment in a trade worth more than £7 billion last year.

      Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/revealed-britains-role-in-arming-israel-9643902.html

      I don’t want to be associated with a country that seems pleased with itself for making money from companies that sell equipment to countries for the singular purpose of killing civilians.

      Offering the victims refuge in Scotland seems to be a much more humanitarian response & surely provides some undecided voters one more good reason for voting YES in September.

    46. caz-m says:

      The majority of the Gaza Strip is just over three miles wide and twenty six mile long. It is a tiny strip of land that holds two million Palestinians.

      So when one of the worlds most powerful military forces is blowing the shit out of every building, your options are limited as to where you try to hide from the missiles.

      This is the out and out murder of innocent civilians in Gaza and the Israeli leaders should be arrested for war crimes and brought before the Hague to stand trial.

      If Russia is having sanctions imposed on it, then why not Israel.

    47. heedtracker says:

      Why do governments like ours start wars anyway? Almost the whole of Westminster voted for the Iraq war despite all the evidence showing the Bush administration was lying about WMD’s or that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. I wrote my one and only “letter to my MP” Anne Begg against war with Iraq and she replied simply, if you think you can do any better, why don’t you get elected.

      From life long Aberdonian Labour voter, to never voting Labour again, that one letter said quite a lot about teamGB and Westminster’s right to reign over us, for another 6 weeks! It’s still seems unbelievable, the opportunities for Scotland and the people of Scotland with Yes.

    48. Tackety Beets says:

      UGanda ! Yes, I heard a Radio S interview and the Uganda players were commenting on how magnificent the UGANDA chants were .
      I also spotted a nice big YES @ mens cycling today @ 2.4K to go Geraint Thomas comes round a corner with YES held out very prominently into the road . 4Hr 15.22 on iPlayer . So well done that man .

    49. Brotyboy says:

      In case anyone is in any doubt as to which of the communities in Israel-Palestine is facing an existential threat, here is a series of maps which tells the story;

      http://www.fosna.org/content/mapcards

    50. Taranaich says:

      (either wordpress is eating my comments, or I’m doing something wrong: hopefully just the latter)

    51. Taranaich says:

      OK, I’ll break up my post:

      The tragedy of Palestine is indeed one of ten specific reasons I’m voting yes:

      http://wildernessofpeace.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/ten-questions/

      This isn’t like the economy, currency, or whatever is “uncertain” in the debate. This is one of those things which Better Together simply cannot promise, because there is nobody even close to government which can answer this question: why should I vote to remain in a union which sells weapons to a state that already has one of the biggest militaries in the world?

      If I want Scotland to have full control over its own resources, why SHOULD I vote to remain governed by Westminster? If the UK government has been complicit in paedophile cover-ups, war crimes and God alone knows what else, why SHOULD I vote to remain governed by such a system? If I want nuclear weapons out and none of the UK parties with a chance of government do, why SHOULD I vote to keep them? If I want Scotland to be in control of its own affairs, why SHOULD I vote No? And if I want to live in a country which supports Palestine instead of one that supports Israel, why SHOULD I vote No?

    52. Taranaich says:

      @brotyboy: At long last someone involved in the Scottish Government has had the cojones to stand up and say something positive about this situation.

      To be fair, the First Minister has supported sanctions against Israel, even back in 2011:

      http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/scottish-first-minister-6963

      And he has indeed spoken up since the latest horror:

      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/politics/salmond-demands-action-on-gaza-1.491841

      “The situation in Gaza represents a humanitarian crisis of grave proportions. More than 800 people, most of them civilians, have already lost their lives and over 5,000 have been injured. The UN states that more 118,000 Gazans are sheltering in UN schools. The attack on the school in Beit Hanoun on 24 July, condemned by the UN Secretary General, only serves to underline the desperate need for international action to stop the killing of innocent civilians.

      Let’s say Better Together are right, and Alex Salmond is setting himself up as King Salmond to rule in perpetuity: wWho would you prefer leading your country in the next five years? The man who said the words above, or the man who says “the UK staunchly supports Israel” despite the mass protests which suggest the contrary?

    53. Pam McMahon says:

      This is a powerful piece which should be read more widely. It stops your heart. Well done and weel spake.

    54. Bill Cruickshank says:

      Powerful piece. I am very happy to settle for Ryan’s definition of what it means to be Scottish. It will do for me.

    55. Konrad the wise warrior says:

      THIS.

    56. katsoft says:

      Excellent commentary, should be forced onto every front page

    57. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      @Taranaich
      I also remember when Alex Salmond stood against r

    58. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      @Taranaich
      oops
      I also remember when Alex Salmond stood against the Iraq war and was vilified by the MSM.
      He was the only main stream politician to do this and for that he will have my eternal respect.

      We now know how that turned out – Tony Blair should be in jail for war crimes not the Peace Envoy for the Middle East.

      I think that just sums up all that is wrong with the UK. Surely we can do better than this in a independent Scotland.

    59. heedtracker says:

      Another day and other right to reign over you little Scottish people fraud in action

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/03/scotland-independence-debate-economy-alex-salmond-alistair-darling#start-of-comments

      “If Scotland stays, as I hope it will, the UK will never be the same again. More fiscal powers – including the power to borrow – will provide a new impetus to decentralisation, not just to Edinburgh but to Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle. We will need a new constitutional settlement, and new ways, as all federal states enjoy, of legally settling differences between levels of government.”

      Trident nukes stay in Argyle, young Scots will die in Westminster’s catastrophic warfare in places just far away enough from teamGB and this time its from a Westminster ex con.

    60. TJenny says:

      Dr JM Mackintosh, is that in code? If so, one of us needs reprogramming. 🙂

    61. Andy says:

      45,000 people protesting outside the Israeli embassy in London on Saturday. All Scottish I suppose, as we have a monopoly on humanitarianism.

    62. galamcennalath says:

      Just think, no more Proud Scots (but) …. however we will be proud to be Scots, that day is on its way.

      What did Humza Yousaf actually say in the tweet, anyone?

    63. TJenny says:

      Ah,I see the reprogramming worked then. 😉

    64. Defo says:

      It’s not too hard to construct a link between this awful situation, and the good old British empire.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balfour_Declaration

    65. Robert Peffers says:

      That article, Ryan Miller, has condensed for me some thoughts that have been rattling around, all disconnected, inside my head for quite some time. I’m a great one for history and years ago listened to a BBC Scotland Radio show. They were going round Scotland doing genetic testing to investigate, “Who are the Scots”, and had reached the Northern Isles. To everyone’s surprise they found a rich seam of genetics linked to the Native North American Nations, (Red Indians). After investigating these people’s family history the mystery was solved.

      In the very early days of the colonization of North America the main thrust came from, “The Hudson Bay Company”. Now when I was a boy they were still recruiting, “Bay Boys”, from Scotland, mainly from the Highlands & Islands. Now these Bay Boys were the Hunters/Traders and it was dangerous work with a short life expectancy. What became apparent was that, unlike later when the English/British arrived with their Red-Coats and started killing the Indians and adding their scalps, (Aye it was the white man that began scalping), to their belts as trophies, the early Scottish, Irish and Welsh Traders Christianised the natives and married native girls.

      It was dangerous work trading in that wild country and the life expectancy was short. It turned out that when a Traders died the Hudson Bay Company, sent their widows and children,HOME to a country they had never seen in their lives before. Hence the genetic links. That to me was one of the things that made Scots, Scottish. It is the attitude instilled in me by my grand parents and parents, “Wir aa Jock Tamson’s Bairns”. It is why we have proud Scots, (sans any BUT), like Humza Yousaf. We don’t put immigrants into ghettos, we absorb them and they become Scots. I’m proud of that and the real people of Scotland. We are, at least in that respect, a different nation – VOTE YES.

      Thank you for that article, Ryan, but most of all for your obvious humanity that inspired it.

    66. Andy says:

      @Defo – you mean that institution that was largely run by Scots, of whom Arthur Balfour was one?

    67. Defo says:

      O/T Chris Huhne seems to ‘get’ it.
      A sensible, thought out piece in the Guardian. It had to happen, eventually.

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/03/scotland-independence-debate-economy-alex-salmond-alistair-darling

    68. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      @TJenny
      yes hit the oops button!

    69. Defo says:

      Hi Andy. Not biting mate, sorry.

    70. Andy says:

      @Robert Peffers – care to explain why The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson’s Bay founded 1670 only employed Irish, Welsh and Scots?

    71. Magnus says:

      Thanks.

    72. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      OT

      Is this why Cameron went to Shetland?

      http://tinyurl.com/nko63dh

      Hurricane Oil

    73. Marcia says:

      Billie’s brother has arrived.

    74. Tam Jardine says:

      Great post Ryan. I have a 2 year old boy as well and feel numb when I think of what that poor man has gone through. It is beyond my comprehension. Thank you for putting this into words – your definition will do for me.

      Thepnr phrases it perfectly: Just fucking stop the bombing.

      Humza’s statement is an example of how I want my government to represent me. When was the last time I felt that about the words and actions of a UK government minister? I can’t think of a single instance.

    75. Andy says:

      Incidentally Robert London is the pre-eminent multicultural city in Europe so not entirely sure what point you are trying to make.

    76. Defo says:

      BtP, Good work. Particularly liked their reference to BP having discovered 8,000,000,000 barrels on the same ridge as them.

    77. Grouse Beater says:

      BtP: Is this why Cameron went to Shetland?

      Well, it wasn’t to see its standing stones or burial sites.

      Good find, BT; photographs, visual aids, graphs, and cold, cold statistics – a lot of trouble for a drop of paraffin.

    78. P.R.D. says:

      The assumption of the article is that Humza Yousaf does not own a suit or have a political agenda.

    79. Andy says:

      Perhaps a little more effort required on the ground up hre instead of sanctimonious “we’re no like them” posts. Members of the Britain Palestine Twining Network:

      The Antonine Friendship Link with Joyyous
      Arura Faringdon Friendship Association (AFFA)
      Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association
      Friends of Wadi Fuqeen
      Hackney Beit Sourik
      Hanwell Friends of Sabastiya
      Haringey Justice for Palestinians and Aizarea
      Hastings Friends of Yatma
      Islington Friends of Yibna
      Knighton Azzoun
      Liverpool Friends of Palestine Bil’in Link
      Llanidloes As Sawiya
      Northampton Al Bireh (Palestine) Friendship Association
      Nottingham Jenin
      Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association
      Pendle Beit Leed
      Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea East Jerusalem
      St Albans Friends of Husan
      South East London Beit Furik
      Stourbridge Seir
      Tower Hamlets Jenin
      Watford friends of Salfeet
      Worcester Khanyounis
      Yanoun International Network (YIN)

    80. EdinburghDave says:

      Every day since the atrocities in Gaza have been shown I have held my family and my 12 month old Son a little bit tighter, thankful he will never be in danger like that.

      But every day, there has been something from Gaza that has made me cry. The horror, the pain, the loss for these people, my feelings about what is happening in this place are undescribably sad

      This article is the closest thing that comes to expressing that and the frustration of not being able to help

      I am glad my government has taken this bold stance, holding its arms out in friendship.

      hamza Yousaf abd the Scottish Government speak for me on Gaza. Westminster does not.

    81. Tocasaid says:

      Good post. The hypocrisy of Westminster knows no bounds – as they are still selling weapons to both Israel and Russia.

    82. caz-m says:

      O/T

      I hope “Flower of Scotland” is played tonight at the Closing Ceremony.

      I tried to watch highlights of the Games on Reporting Scotland earlier on. Only lasted 10 secs, due to that patronising, drooling voice of the Burd. 10 secs was the time it took for me to find the remote and hit the off button.

      Cannae stand the Burd wummin of the Quay.

    83. Grouse Beater says:

      Heedtracker:
      More fiscal powers – including the power to borrow – will provide a new impetus to decentralisation, not just to Edinburgh but to Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.

      What about St Ives, Corwall? Usual cockeyed understanding of the issues – we’re all regions and can share equally because London will sacrifice its big ambitions… yeah.

    84. G H Graham says:

      No country has a perfect history when it comes to treating mankind fairly & equally, least of all Scotland.

      But we can either continue to look backwards, wringing our hands about what we should have done or look forward & declare that we at the very least, are going to try & do the right thing.

      Westminster is strongly against any political reform because it serves itself very well to the cost of the vast majority over whom it has jurisdiction.

      But we in Scotland at least have a chance in 6 weeks to chose a more egalitarian alternative, regardless of which party is in charge.

      Sure, we need a new construct, a new constitution & new rules but who wouldn’t want to take a chance on that when a vote for the status quo is to passively condone the continuance of media sleeze, excessive greed, political corruption, political criminality & a further widening of the wealth gap between the rich & the poor?

    85. Onwards says:

      There is great piece on Scottish independence and identity by AA Gill in today’s Sunday Times magazine.

      The article is behind a paywall online, but there are snapshots on twitter

      The final paragraph reads:

      ..Because whatever happens it is always better to be yourself..

      And when you ask “Will it be different the morning after?” well, everything will be different and how fabulously exciting will that be?
      And if you have a vote, how will you be able to turn to your grandchildren in years to come and say: “Well, I did have the chance to right an old wrong, but actually I couldn’t be bothered. I was a bit scared.”

    86. Rory says:

      very emotive stuff.

      Attempting to fully comprehend is difficult. Giving compassion, as well as acting in the way we would need strangers to act if it was us, is a good way forward for a country rediscovering what it means to be Scottish.

      We all know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of a kind gesture, an act of love, or simply having that hand held out to help us up: I suggest this is not beyond geopolitics too. Good effort Humza Yousef

    87. caz-m says:

      BBC Studio at Hampden for the closing ceremony has three Scots in it, ALL “proud Scot buts”. (all against Scottish Independence).

      And they had the cheek to throw a woman out the other night for having a YES on her Saltire.

      After Independence I would like the name, “The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome” removed as soon as possible.

      Someone who is part of the Westminster Elite, supports WMD and illegal wars, should not have his name on OUR Velodrome.

    88. Robert Peffers says:

      Cindie says: 3 August, 2014 at 5:41 pm:

      “The Westminster politicians don’t have a backbone or an ounce of moral fibre between them”,

      Well, Cindie, not quite. If you go to TV Channel 81, (The Westminster Parliament Channel), you will have your eyes opened to several things. First is that matters you thought were of vital importance are often debated in a chamber with very, very, few Members in the Chamber. Then, when the few have said their piece, (often without challenge), the bell rings and, (like rats deserting a sinking ship), members appear from all holes and corners. The party whips are running around howking them out of the subsidised bars, subsidised eating places and even the subsidised gyms and other pass time places the public has paid for. They then go through the Division Lobby and vote as the party has told them to vote. You have to ask, did they even know that they were voting for?

      You will note another fact, every time an SNP member gets up to speak in the chamber the others will talk among themselves, jeer, shout and make as much of an uproar as they can to drown them out. Not to mention interrupt them with utter nonsense and with little protection for the person attempting to speak from the Speaker in the big chair.

      So, Cindie, there are indeed good people in that parliament but, including the SNP members, the good ones are either ignored, shouted down or otherwise disrupted by the party hacks, and as you no doubt know there is little difference between the several coloured shades of Toryism of the main Westminster parties.

    89. Tam Jardine says:

      Caz-m

      No Katherine Grainger an aw? Thought she was part of Rowers for Yes?

    90. Robert Peffers says:

      @Paradox says:3 August, 2014 at 6:01 pm
      “Can I walk with you both in common cause, and any others who feel the same?”

      I’ve good news for you, Paradox. If you are already a YES for independence voter you already are walking with them. It’s now just a matter of winning the referendom then electing such as Humza to the Scottish Parliament THAT WE CHOOSE FOR OURSELVES FOR RUNNING SCOTLAND.

    91. Ann says:

      Why do Israel get off with doing what they are doing?

      Simple. Guilt.

      Guilt over what happened during WW2.

      The Allies knew what was happening to Jews, Communists etc in German occupied countries, but stood back.

      Yes, they helped at first, but they then slammed the door shut.

    92. Kev says:

      Great article Ryan, fully agree

      O/T

      I wasn’t gona watch the closing ceremony after the disaster that was Celtic Park 11 days ago, so far so good id say, good to see Dougie Vipond back on the drums, sounds like the BBC are trying their best to destroy the sound tho…

    93. Red Squirrel says:

      This is why we need Indy not devo nano, so we can have ethical foreign policy which allows us to be better citizens of this world. While WM dances to the tune of bankers, big business and arms manufacturers, the shadow of rUK’s imperial past will remain.

    94. heraldnomore says:

      Large Auchentoshan in the Yes Clydesdale tumble; GIRUY BBC. Well done athletes one and well. Fantastic Team Scotland. Where were you BBC Scotland?

    95. caz-m says:

      Tam Jardine
      “No Katherine Grainger an aw? Thought she was part of Rowers for Yes?”

      Is there such a group Tam? Are you kiddin me on,

      lol

    96. Tam Jardine says:

      Caz-m

      Not to my knowledge mate:)

    97. Robert Peffers says:

      @Andy says: 3 August, 2014 at 8:08 pm:

      @Robert Peffers – care to explain why The Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson’s Bay founded 1670 only employed Irish, Welsh and Scots?:

      I’m not biting either, Andy. Read again what I wrote.

    98. heedtracker says:

      @ Grouse Beater, a complete and utter fraud on Scotland. It’s fascinating watching a fraud this big in action, why do they leave out “we are giving and pretending to give Scotland-
      More fiscal powers – including the power to borrow – will provide a new impetus to decentralisation.

      So if decentralisation is supposed to be coming, Vote Yes and their “giving” and “decentralisation” ends 19th Sept 2014

    99. Grouse Beater says:

      If decentralisation is supposed to be coming, Vote Yes and “decentralisation” ends 19th Sept 2014

      I needed some humour to lift my spirits.

    100. Robert Peffers says:

      @heedtracker says: 3 August, 2014 at 9:43 pm:

      “More fiscal powers – including the power to borrow – will provide a new impetus to decentralisation.”

      Aye! heedtracker – they give us the power to borrow a limited sum but then take that sum from the Scottish Block Grant that is already only a fraction of the revenues they gather from Scotland. Now I’m not a great one with figures but that says to me their Baldrick like cunning plan is to dock from the already smaller sum they pay us back out of what they take from us the sum they so graciously allow us to borrow. As we say in Scotland, Ye cudna whack thaim wi a muckle stick.

    101. Thepnr says:

      Looking ahead there is much work to be done.

      I talked to many people today in the local clubby, some were Yes, many didn’t know or wouldn’t commit but three were definite No’s.

      When asked why they all said “not enough information” this is complete bullshit of course and over these remaining weeks I hope to persuade them otherwise.

      These guys as much as I like them have no intention of finding out more, they just believe that their position is the right one. I intend to change that opinion.

      People are willing to talk about the referendum now, never miss an opportunity to put them right. One by One and Yes will win. Get in there with the head down and never give in!

    102. donald anderson says:

      Hudson Bay employed mainly Scots, especially from Orkney and Shetland,who were easily acclimatised and used to hardship. The natives emphasised with the Highlanders for their woodcraft and tribal culture.

      Also the English never married the native women. The word squaw was native for a part of the female anatomy. Hence, “Squawman”.

      The Scots had a better reputation and trust with the natives, especially compared to the Anglo-Yanks.

      Eventually the Scots took over Hudson Bay and the North West Company, after a period of severe rivalry.

    103. heedtracker says:

      Libby Carrell of the Graun”s gone off on one, lovely people. Salomd is a salesman that most voters don’t trust now and the Flipper’s a bank manager and everyone loves him.

      Alongside that New Statesman monster of a scotchman in a jimmy hat advert, Guradian’s end of rule Britannia’s never pretty.

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/03/alex-salmond-alistair-darling-tv-face-off-scottish-independence

    104. Grouse Beater says:

      Hudson Bay employed mainly Scots, especially from Orkney and Shetland,

      I’m researching a major project on the eminent explorer Dr John Rae, Orkney-born.

      He’s credited with discovering the North West Passage, his cleverness in learning from the local Inuit enough to make his own clothes and snowshoes, and explore without a guide.

      He discovered the bodies of the fated Franklin expedition and noted signs of cannabalism.

      When he presented his report to the Royal Society in London it created a scandal. He was attacked by Franklin’s widow, and of all people, Charles Dickens, her friend, both denying Rae was anywhere near the North West Passage, and claimed, without evidence, Franklin died a heroe’s death. (Victorian England preferred heroic failures – see Scott.)

      Rae’s reputation never recovered. He died forgotten in a garrett in London, penniless. Time to right a wrong.

    105. Grouse Beater says:

      Another employer threatens to move his business. Wonder what his staff think of him….

      He doesn’t mind resorting to blackmail.

      (The Abuse of Corporate Power – grousebeater.wordpress)

    106. Robert Peffers says:

      @donald anderson says:3 August, 2014 at 9:58 pm:

      “Also the English never married the native women. The word squaw was native for a part of the female anatomy. Hence, “Squawman”.

      Aye! Donald, and the expression, “Aquawman”, was said by them with a sneering curl of their lips as an insult. The reason I did not engage with Andy is because he is here as a troll and is already well aware of the truth. He also seems rather poor at his native language. I did use the word, “Mainly”, in describing the areas the company recruited. It is quite typical of the poor educational state of such as Andy. It is probable he also confuses Britain with the UK and English with British.

    107. Brian Mchugh says:

      The biggest cheer of the night was on the mentioning of “Team Scotland”…

      …the Labour councillor/politician/whoeverhewas unionist bettertogever speech will be long forgoton by as soon as tomorrow morning.

      🙂

    108. heraldnomore says:

      Time for some whitabootery

      WhataboutratSadie, her in the little black number – the Scottish cringe personified. Could they no huv ta’en her doon tae Stairheid’s public speaking expert first?

    109. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      This is interesting if O/T

      agreaterstage.net/2014/08/02/the-internet-the-tory-and-the-black-black-oil/

    110. Ian Butler says:

      I am an Englishman first and last, a son of the south where I have enjoyed my life. Reading this I was impossibly moved by the humanity and beauty of the writing. Whatever happens in September the people of Scotland will remain our brothers and sisters and I hope continue to teach the lessons of community and humanity. Whaever you decide I will rejoice and if you do decide to leave then I will wish you the very best of success. I will also pray that your commitment to a broad humanitarian vision will be a guiding light to people like me not trapped in the mind set of the Farage like Little Englanders.

      Good luck

    111. Clootie says:

      Colin Erskine says:
      3 August, 2014 at 6:28 pm
      “things won’t change until we change them”

      That was the phrase that hit me too. We really can do nothing until a YES vote is achieved.

    112. goldenayr says:

      It’s nearly aw done.

      I bet “Lord” Smith of Kelvin is fair miffed the Malaysian Prince got a better reception than his “together” speech.

      Tea leafin git.

    113. Robert Peffers says:

      @heraldnomore says: 3 August, 2014 at 10:19 pm:

      “Time for some whitabootery”

      I just though back about what I would probably remember as the undying memory of the Games. The BBC takeover was no surprise – I posted here before the games that I could see that coming. There were some great sporting moments – but that was to be expected.

      What is going to stick in my mind is the sight of two muckle big Polis escorting a wee wummin oot for the capital offence of having a YES Saltire and a YES sticker on her bag and marching her past a saltire with a great big NO on it and many Union Flags.

      Methinks the wee wummin will have the last laugh.
      She has my admiration for her conviction of her beliefs and my hope there was no crimminal conviction because of them. I send her the ultimate Scottish cheer – gawn yersel hen

    114. Marco McGinty says:

      Interesting that the Labour Friends of Israel site has tweets about the Israeli soldier being kidnapped, but no follow up tweets to say that he was actually killed in action.

      Would that be the Labour Party (and Better Together campaigners) not telling the whole truth again? Would that be the Labour Party withholding vital information from the public?

      They’ve had a full day to back down on their unfounded claims of abduction, yet chosen not to do so, opting to maintain the abduction falsehood. That is an incredibly deceitful way to treat the electorate. Such vile people in the BT camp!

    115. heraldnomore says:

      Go Dougie. Don’t they know?

    116. goldenayr says:

      Gaun yersel Dougie.

    117. heraldnomore says:

      There’s someone on the pitch; they think it’s…

    118. Grouse Beater says:

      gawn yersel hen

      Aye. Do you think the BBC will seek her out to interview her and ask what she felt being treated as if a leper?

    119. goldenayr says:

      Robert Peffers

      As long as London run the papers her story will stay in the ether.

    120. Scots Renewables says:

      More articles on the oil find;

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/06/26/uk-hurricane-energy-shetland-idUKKBN0F10MQ20140626

      That’s the Lancaster field Marcia. The rig at the centre of the story was drilling on the Clair field for BP.

    121. Robert Peffers says:

      @goldenayr says: 3 August, 2014 at 10:51 pm:

      “As long as London run the papers her story will stay in the ether.”

      Aye! goldenaye. Bit we ken, We aa Ken.

    122. goldenayr says:

      Forgot how good my cuz(twice removed) is at singing Auld Lang Syne.

    123. Paradox says:

      ECK v DUMPLIN: STV TUESDAY NIGHT.

      Hope ECK asks the dumplin WHATS THE LATEST PROJECTION OF WHEN THE OIL RUNS OUT ALISTAIR? Is it still 18 months?

    124. heedtracker says:

      What does it mean to be Scottish? Still can’t answer unless it’s with the one question that’s going to be settled on the 18th Sept. We are Scottish but Scotland doesn’t exist because our country was sold 300 years ago and we’re ruled by the rich few and their ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s, like Jim Murphy MP.

      https://id.theguardian.com/profile/tellen1/public

    125. goldenayr says:

      Robert Peffers

      If it’s in the ether…all we need is the address.

      It’s funny how word spreads,like the banner at the mens road race today…

      “People make Gaza”

    126. TheItalianJob says:

      Good closing ceremony. Good on the Malaysian prince saying “Glasgow the best games ever”. Ae Fond Kiss sang too. A bonus for me as it’s one of my favourite Burn’s songs.

      Well done Glasgow and Scotland. Now for the 18/9 to make it even a better Scotland.

    127. Brian Mchugh says:

      Thats it then… Scotland has stepped up to the plate on the sporting stage and conqoured…

      …now is the time to step up to the plate as a country. The gold medal awaits…

      Now is the time!

    128. gillie says:

      Huge oil discovery off Shetland.

    129. Brian Mchugh says:

      ‘conquered’ …sometimes I wish I would spell check more. LOL

    130. Mary Bruce says:

      But the BBC was reporting on the vast reserves of the Clair field last year, saying it had a massive 8bn barrels. Which makes you wonder if the latest developments mean that the recent discoveries are far greater:

      “Oil industry experts have described it as a “monster” field containing an estimated eight billion barrels of oil.” BBC Aug 2013

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-23681061

    131. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Andy at 8.29

      It is perfectly ok to be a friend of Palestine and the Palestinians. They are not sitting on land they have stolen by brutal force from a poorly armed and impoverished people. Many years ago the leader of Israel said their aim was to drive the Palestinians into the sea. That is what they are doing with US and UK assent

    132. Brian Mchugh says:

      By the way… from my bedroom window, turned the sound off on the TV and listened to Caledonia… thousands singing Caledonia on the Green that is.

      Unbelievable. 🙂

    133. Nana Smith says:

      Poll re the debate on Tuesday and if the referendum was today how would you vote.

      http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/independence-referendum-alex-salmond-alistair-3964597

    134. Marco McGinty says:

      @TheItalianJob

      And it has also been reported that Mike Hooper, Chief Executive of the CGF, has said that Glasgow 2014 has been “the stand-out games in the history of the movement.”

    135. goldenayr says:

      Who were the wee knobs shouting “Engerland,Engerland” that the beeb cut too?

      They’ll do for the YES campaign.

      Chip on the shoulder twats.

    136. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      Yesterday I went on my first demo since my student days in the 70s.

      700 folk in the hissing rain in Kirkcaldy, motivated enough by the Gaza slaughter to get out and try to do something.

    137. caz-m says:

      Marcia

      On Tuesday Alex Salmond has the opportunity to tell the Scottish people about the Oil & Gas that is in Scottish waters but we not being told about.

      He has to mention the secret visit by Cameron regarding the new oilfields off Shetland, also the Oil that is meant to be in the Clyde Estuary.

      Gloves off Alex.

    138. Bob Sinclair says:

      Games Over – Game On

      Time to show Westminster we mean Business.

    139. TJenny says:

      Nana Smith – poll sitting at Eck to win the debate =88% and how would you vote tomorrow YES = 84%. Hopefully Yes vote rising. 🙂

    140. Ryan Miller says:

      Thanks for the comments and kind words, folks. Heartening to see my thoughts and feelings echoed by others desperate to paint a new political landscape. This vote is about so much more than the economy.

    141. Iain (orri) McCord says:

      I’d suspect that there hasn’t been a find yet. I very much doubt a conclusive find could be kept secret. If, however, there were clear signs of one being highly probable then it might be enough to suspend the search. I’d assume Westminster would be footing the bill.

      On the other hand it’s remotely possible that it’s nothing to do with oil and simply to do with something else going on in that area. If you really wanted to cause a panic it’d be something to do with a nuclear sub having a wee bit of an accident.

    142. Big Jock says:

      I thought tonight made up for the shameful opening.But then again most of the performers were yes supporters.Whereas we had Rod pro union,Barrowman no campaign,Subo vote no at the opening!Difference in passion for Scotland rather than pretendy plastic Scots.

    143. pa_broon74 says:

      Not sure I can share this article enough.

      It encapsulates so much – not just about what I hope or want being Scottish to mean – but what it means to be human.

      That is all.

    144. Marco McGinty says:

      The UK government has sent a Royal Navy ship to evacuate British people from Libya.

      I wonder if the UK government will ever consider sending a ship to Gaza, to evacuate the thousands of innocent civilians under constant bombardment from Israeli armed forces? And just when will David Cameron call for sanctions on Israel?

      With flimsy evidence, he was quick enough to sanction Russia for the Malaysian Airlines incident, yet we have definitive proof that the Israeli government has been responsible for crimes against humanity, and he chooses to accept the on-going killing of civilians, many of them children.

      Vote No for war crimes or Vote Yes for a civilized, compassionate society.

    145. CameronB Brofie says:

      One of the ironies about Gaza, is the Palestinian people are more likely to be Semites than the Israelis. I thought there were laws against anti-Sematism.

    146. geeo says:

      OMG….just typed a very long post on this subject and pressed submit, before realising I had not logged in yet, any tech guys out there know how to retrieve it ?

    147. David says:

      You said you had no idea who Hamza Yousaf was or had even heard of him. I have met him a couple of times but he probably won’t remember me. But after talking to him I can say that I’m convinced he is a really nice guy who just wants to do his best for all people everywhere. He, by himself, is a reason for voting yes’.

    148. Tackety Beets says:

      I made a discrete enquiry to some people in the industry . Clearly this came from a source unaware of my reasons. One Reply …. ” I looked it up on marine traffic and I see the drill rig is parked on BP’s Clair field which only really confirms part of what’s noted below.

      It is contracted to BP at $440k per day which is roughly the going rate for a drill rig. I can say that there is no way BP would down man the rig without a very, very good reason.

      Could be a health and safety issue or some sort of technical problem. I can’t think of a logical reason to down man, on full pay, after a successful wellbore has been drilled.

      I think they would just finish the casing and move on with the drilling program. If the program was at an end then BP would just off-hire the rig.

      Also, according to ****** , the partners in the field are BP, Shell, Conoco, and Chevron. All massive Global players listed on the NYSE. BP and Shell are on LSE too.

      So if the market is expecting drilling results, then they will be legally obliged to announce them before the market next opens – it’s price sensitive info. Watch for news from BP Monday morning.” I wish I could say , see I told you but alas ………. time may tell !

    149. Defo says:

      Aye geeo. Just press the back arrow mate.

    150. Marco McGinty says:

      @geeo
      Done that before, so I now copy everything before posting, just in case something happens with the connection.

      @Defo
      I’ve tried that, and it doesn’t work on my PC, hence why I have to go through the whole copy-paste regime.

    151. kininvie says:

      @ Tackety Beets

      I’m not an oil person, but I’ve been putting a little money into tiny oil companies over the years (and losing much of it but gaining some). If you have money at stake, you learn fast, and one of the things you learn is that nothing in the exploration sector happens in any hurry, and that a lot of the hype that floats around eventually turns out to be banal – or worse.

      It distresses me to see all this froth on social media about this giant ‘new’ oil field, secret trips to Shetland and so forth. Especially people claiming that Hurricane’s flow test – which was announced on 26th June FFS – is ‘it’. Hurricane itself claims 207 Mmb Oil in place, which is good but not spectacular.

      Yes people, and especially those on Wings, are supposed to be hard headed. Get your research in – look at the years’ long process which may turn a ‘discovery’ into a commercially-producing oil field, and then ask yourselves about the likeihood of these rumours having anything to do with the facts.

      As Tackety remarks, you don’t pull a crew off a rig without good reason. The most probable reason is that the well the Paul Loyd was drilling has been suspended – possibly due to pressure issues – and will remain so until the boffins have worked out what to do next.

      You certainly don’t take your crew off the rig if you have made a significant discovery. Apart from anything else, you massively increase the chances of information leaking if you do.

      Relax – if there has been some kind of major development on Clair, there’s no way the Government could suppress it. BP has a duty to report ‘insider’ information to the market as soon as possible. Do you think a global company gives a fig for Cameron in the face of its responsibilities to its international shareholders?

    152. Edward says:

      Tackety Beets
      Actually there is interesting activity in the area around the Clair ridge that includes the vessel ‘Petrojarl Foinhavn’ https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4080/4773772655_5184a02393.jpg

      Also see the ‘Thailf’ for the Solan Oil Field
      http://www.offshore-technology.com/projects/solan-oil-field-north-sea-uk/

      I will have a further look at movements on Marine Traffic.com to see what else is going on

    153. Defo says:

      kininvie. Your forgetting who sells the exploration and production licences. BP will play ball with HMG. Favours for favours. All they have to do if caught out is lie, and say H&S probs meant they had to suspend activity.
      It’ll all come out sooner or later anyhoo. Sooner would be nice.
      It might all be scurrilous rumour 😉

    154. CapnAndy. says:

      Ryan. To answer your question. It’s because you’re a human being. Having a son the same age just makes it worse.
      Excellent heartfelt article.

    155. Brian Donnelly says:

      Empathy, compassion and a sense of fairness are not uniquely Scottish traits! If people define their Scottishness by their view on what’s happening in Gaza then god help us – it’s an insult to every empathetic and compassionate person on the planet who knows what Israel is doing is horrific

    156. geeo says:

      Cheers chaps, been quietly sobbing over the lost post for a while now…i usually post on my phone as i find it easier…(back button works on phone so confidently pressed it on laptop) Dammit, welling up again now…lol

      Maybe reproduce it tomorrow.

      Been watch Sunday Politics Scotland on iplayer just now.
      (Could explain the extended sobbing..)
      Loved how they tried to downplay significence of the debate by stating because AS is expected to thrash flipper anyway then it matters less somehow ??

      Liked the woman from SNP/CND, her comments (and dig at clegg fae the DR) about the debate actually WAS important because of the heavily biased No attitude of the printed media.
      People can better get the Yes points the printed media leave out.
      …………..
      Question 1.

      AS. Mr Darling, why did you call myself, the party i currently lead and those who democratically voted for us, “blood and soil”nationalists?

      If it was another of your
      “Wee jokes”, do you think millions of murdered jews and other persecuted ethnic people under Nazi rule was also a “wee joke ?

      A.D. Blink x 3 x speed of sound x speed of light = Darling present at the “big bang”

      Meanwhile…back in the studio…

      “Now over to the panel, where did you think Alistair Darling won the debate then guys” ?

    157. Yes Donald Anderson you did miss something “Too scared”.

      Scotland the scared
      Land of the cringing coward

      It seems anybody without an intact Scottish psyche is a COWARD devoid of the will for self determination. The modern day Scot in name only and would not be recognized by previous generations as their own. Such is the cost of embracing Anglicisation and becoming less and less distinctive.
      It would be impossible for anybody with an intact Scottish psyche to do other than desire restoring the Sovereignty of their Nation.

    158. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Empathy, compassion and a sense of fairness are not uniquely Scottish traits! If people define their Scottishness by their view on what’s happening in Gaza then god help us – it’s an insult to every empathetic and compassionate person on the planet who knows what Israel is doing is horrific”

      I get depressed when people can’t read.

    159. Grouse Beater says:

      Donnelly:

      If people define their Scottishness by their view on what’s happening in Gaza then god help us

      God is nowhere to be seen in Gaza.

      To Unionists, nothing justifies Scots defining themselves as Scottish.

    160. Spansco says:

      The British are complicit in the establishment of the state of Israel and the division of Palestine. We more than any other country must take the blame for what has transpired afterwards and the suffering of the Palestinian people whom Israel denies their right to exist. There is nothing to be proud of by saying you are British as we have oppressed and exploited indigenous populations of foreign lands all over the word.

    161. Keef says:

      A very sad state of affairs to have to pick up your wean and put his/her remains in a plastic bag. I tweeted a few weeks ago that the channel four reporter Jon Snow had huge cajones for going after the Israeli spokesman. When he then went into Gaza I could not raise the courage to read his reports. I just knew, like the plastic bag tragedy, there would be further horrors that I would be unable to stomach and that they would haunt me for years.

      The girl that was harangued for taking a selfie in Gaza was perhaps wrong to do so but unlike God, at least she has proof that she was there.

    162. Helena Brown says:

      Ryan I think the kindest thing we can do for the people of Gaza is offer to keep their children safe. Scotland made me proud many years ago when children directly affected by Chernobyl were given the chance of fresh air and a holiday by families here in Scotland. I do condemn Israel for their actions in dispossessing the Palestinians. They of all people should realise what it is like.
      I would also say O/T that what ever happened to working class solidarity when you get Better Together types talking about Skivers and Scroungers.

    163. Cod says:

      We really need a Google+ share button.

      Anyway, I hope you don’t mind, Ryan, but I am going to repost this, in full, on my Google+ profile. I’ll obviously put credit, and a link to the post here too, but some people might not click through, and I’d like them, in particular, to read this, all of it.

      I’ve talked to many people about why I want an independent Scotland, and it’s nothing to do with that Braveheart rubbish, or Saltires, or hating the English (unlikely, since my mother is from Greenwich, as in Greenwich Mean Time). It’s about living in a country which can do better by all of the people who live within it, regardless of where they were born or what accent they speak with. It’s about providing a social balance so that nobody is forgotten. It’s about having a country where people don’t have to rely on food banks and worry about how they are going to feed their kids, or where they are going to stay. It’s about caring about the other people in the country, not just yourself. It’s about standing on our own two feet and taking responsibility for what we do, whether we get it right or wrong.

      But some people, many of them living in Scotland, and intending to vote No, don’t get that. And we need to reach those people, we need to make them understand, we need to touch their hearts and minds.

    164. Karen says:

      Tragic that a father has to look for pieces of his wee wean and put them in a bag. My God we don’t know we are living. We might have it hard sometimes but nothing like this.

      The people of Scotland and even our Government have made me feel proud because we show humanity to others suffering openly. Let us never lose our compassion for people in those terrible situations.

    165. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Ealasaid; I was in the stadium during the session for with Uganda. I watched the Weirwolf in the wheelchair race from home and heard the cheers for the lad coming in way off the pace, dead last. I watched the 5000 metres with the young lad who got lapped twice by most of the field, and he too left the track to the whole stadium cheering him on.

      This is all related to the offer from Humza Yousaf extended on behalf of the Scottish government to refugees from Gaza. It seems to be in our nature, in amongst the gruff, miserable, dour folk we certainly are, to want to back those who try regardless of the fact that coming first is probably not going to happen. We see the sheer injustice perpetrated on the people of Gaza and most, if not all, want action and if we cannot stand against Israel we can offer to shelter the victims. This is good, because this is right. It is what we SHOULD be doing.

    166. donald anderson says:

      Irish view
      http://tinyurl.com/nscsgo7

    167. Tommy McClellan says:

      Unutterably moving. Beautifully true and eloquent. The best thing I have read about what really matters in the referendum debate. Thank you, Ryan, for showing that the choice that we are privileged to be faced with is a very small thing compared with what faces too many of our global fellow-citizens, and at the same time a crucial way in which we can live up to our responsibility as citizens of the world. For me, voting “Yes” expresses a wish for my country, Scotland, to begin to play a much more honest, principled, compassionate, confident, and accountable role in the world. “That man to man, the world, o’er, Shall brithers be for a’ that.”

    168. Andy says:

      I’ve never “trolled” you Robert Peffers, you are perfectly capable of derailing these pages on your own with your irrelevant ramblings. Need I remind you of your post – apropos of nothing that was being discussed – where you claimed that cyclists who were knocked down and killed by drivers who had been convicted of a driving offence at the time of the accident were probably responsible for their misfortune?

    169. Wifey4Indy says:

      I spent 1991 and 1992 working as a volunteer medic in Gaza City and (for a short time) in Lebanon and saw punishment demolitions and shootings etc and I hear harrowing tales through my facebook connections with prevous colleagues.

      I got to know many UN Observers in Gaza and Peacekeepers in Lebanon. There were no British or American soldiers in this role in the middle east due to the political baggage of their imperial actions in the past. But there were Finns, Dutch, Norwegians, Swedes, Swiss and Irish.

      That is the role a future Scottish Defence force could contribute to with pride. Something that makes the world a little bit better rather than hideously moire unstable like our illegal invasioin of Iraq!

    170. Karen says:

      Donald thank you for sharing the Irish view.

    171. El Shando says:

      A shabby attempt to score political points off the back of the war in Gaza. Using an image of the devastation in Gaza in a piece about Scottish independence is specious and ill-judged. You say that you feel proud to be Scottish because we have agreed to accept refugees, but we were already accepting refugees from the middle east so this is not as large a step as you make out. The Scottish government could also have timed this announcement to cause maximum effect and to further highlight the difference between it and Westminster. I reject the notion that this announcement somehow makes Scotland more progressive or enlightened, it is just a political game.

      Also, if you’ve seen the news reports about the conditions refugees face when they arrive here, it isn’t very pretty. True they aren’t facing artillery shells any longer, but racism, prejudice and hardship are commonly encountered by Scotland’s refugees. Saying you will accept refugees is the easy part, actually helping them achieve a decent quality of life is still a work in progress.

      Trying to use such an emotionally charged, tragic and divisive subject as Gaza that is only tenuously connected to the Scotland independence debate (that’s putting it mildly) is at best ill-considered if not outright offensive. It’s like saying ‘remember when the Tsunami happened and killed all those people? Awful wasn’t it? But remember how generous the UK was when we gave all that money to the victims? The UK did that, not Scotland’.

    172. Richard Browne says:

      No voter but I’m in complete agreement. My question- when the political lethargy, complacency and disenfranchisement kick in, when the beautiful new nation falls into the habits of old as those habits are just now, what does the independence result teach- that, in order to shake up the broken system and recreate a nation steeped in the cultural belief of fairness, progression and the sanctity of humanity we should, rather than fight from within to deliver a society with a decent aspect, we should just break away from it again and again until we’re just a nation of individuals running around with the outlook that ours is the only proper way to behave?

    173. Suzy says:

      Humza Yousaf has done a wonderful thing.

      Will Scotland walk around admitting refugees and dispensing money to needy causes just because it’s independent? On top of its free university education, care for the elderly, bursting NHS costs, losing military and production jobs, huge public sector costs, etc.?

      Or could it do that anyway if it really wanted to?

      Oh, it just has.

      Being Independent does not automatically make a country compassionate, generous, un-racist. The people do. Not the Government!

      Yes, we get the politicians we deserve. Because “we” don’t engage. Who engages with the current Scottish Parliament? Do you? Really? Why?!

      Or is it the Tories? Because we all hate the Tories and Labour are, these days, nearly indistinguishable? I would like to know where the left wing party choice is – that’s who I’d vote for! Didn’t the SNP used to be more right wing than Maggie? Almost makes them look like opportunists… Or is that why they didn’t support the living wage bill, because they actually still are? Hmm.

      Off to think some more, still not convinced that a man in an established form of government saying and doing something nice and giving money away in the face of utter devastation and heartbreak means we should be Independent…

      Sorry, stumbled across this article and this website (a friend posted it on FB), just thought I’d join the debate.

    174. Cod says:

      @Suzy

      Well, if that is not enough to convince you that Scotland should vote Yes for independence – and it probably shouldn’t be, on it’s own – perhaps it would be a good idea for you to surf through the other stories on this site. There are plenty of factual, information laden posts, with links to verifiable evidence, very often either independent or from the governments own figures (as per the Financial Times report earlier this year), which make an excellent case for the reasons why Scotland should be independent.

    175. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “No voter but I’m in complete agreement. My question- when the political lethargy, complacency and disenfranchisement kick in, when the beautiful new nation falls into the habits of old as those habits are just now, what does the independence result teach- that, in order to shake up the broken system and recreate a nation steeped in the cultural belief of fairness, progression and the sanctity of humanity we should, rather than fight from within to deliver a society with a decent aspect, we should just break away from it again and again until we’re just a nation of individuals running around with the outlook that ours is the only proper way to behave?”

      That’s a terribly pessimistic outlook. There’s no reason Scotland would have to fall back into “the old habits”, and the reason is the electoral system. FPTP is a democratic cancer that leads inevitably to, well, where we are now: a two-party system with the smallest possible ideological gap between the two. Holyrood’s system will always offer a far greater chance of genuine change, which acts as a major safeguard against hegemony.

    176. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Trying to use such an emotionally charged, tragic and divisive subject as Gaza that is only tenuously connected to the Scotland independence debate (that’s putting it mildly) is at best ill-considered if not outright offensive”

      No, it’s not. You don’t get to tell other people how to feel, and I haven’t the slightest doubt that what Ryan wrote were honest and heartfelt feelings. Calling things “offensive” is just an attempt to shut down debate and avoid dealing with uncomfortable issues – ironically, hiding behind the dead. It’s not up to you to dictate whether someone really went through that thought process or not, and it’s massively arrogant to try.

    177. Suzy says:

      @Cod
      I will! I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂
      It’s great to have a website where people aren’t (well, mostly, partially anyway) calling the other side names just because they don’t agree with them.

    178. Suzy says:

      @Cod
      which ones do you recommend?
      It’s really off-putting to see the name calling 🙁 I just came across a few…
      Surely just because people don’t want to vote yes it doesn’t make them hideous people does it? It’s because they’ve not been convinced.

    179. Ryan Miller says:

      El Shando,

      “The Scottish government could also have timed this announcement to cause maximum effect and to further highlight the difference between it and Westminster. I reject the notion that this announcement somehow makes Scotland more progressive or enlightened, it is just a political game.”

      The announcement in and of itself certainly doesn’t make us more progressive or enlightened, I agree. However, the intention behind it does make us more enlightened than a governemt that drives around in vans with trailers telling immigrants to get out before they catch them (legal or otherwise).

      As for the ‘timing’ of the announcement being to score political points…utter garbage. The announcement was made at the outset of the offensive (just as Cameron stood in front of a camera to denounce Hamas and defend Israel).

      It’s not done to ‘further highlight the difference between it [Scotland] and Westminster’ it’s done BECAUSE OF the fundamental difference between Scotland and Westminster.

      Be offended, be cynical or be whatever it is you want be about the article. I write to make sense of the world around me and I don’t think it’s unnatural to see current world events through the prism of one of the biggest decisions my country is likely to face in its lifetime. Your brand of cynicism, where every good deed and attempt to be better is seen as a ploy to score points or pull the wool over people’s eyes, is exactly what I want to see us escape(as a society and as a country).

      Also just want to add a quick thanks to those who have commented on the story and found some kind of resonance in it. You can’t please all of the people all of the time but I am a pretty normal guy and I am more than sure that a majority of us are ready for a change and ready to take the chance to make something better.

    180. Cod says:

      @Suzy, yes, some of the comments can get a little heated. I’d recommend completely ignoring the comments and only concentrating on the articles. As to what ones to read, well, I’d guess the answer to that depends on what it is you want to know, or what questions you have? There are posts on many of the subjects which I encounter from No and Don’t Know voters, but everyone has different areas they are interested in.

      If you can list some questions or areas you’d like clarification on, it might make it easier to come up with an answer for you.

      Also, the Rev is, apparently, just shy of publishing the Wee Blue Book, which should, hopefully, contain answers to many of the questions, and with (I hope) links to the relevant information, as he does with his posts here.

      And, regarding No voters, no, of course not. I know some No voters, some are friends, they are nice people, if badly informed. I’ve been spending my time trying to convince them with facts. Calling them names would be pointless and counterproductive, in my view.

    181. Cod says:

      Or maybe @Rev. Stuart Campbell could give you a list of the best / most informative posts to start with, in his opinion…

    182. Morag says:

      Suzy, I agree with Cod, read the articles and ignore the comments. There’s a free speech policy on this site which is good, but the result can be daunting for the newbie.

      Also, there’s a big link right at the top of the home page to a “new readers start here” compilation of the best articles. Go for it!

    183. The question of what it means to be Scottish never really perturbed me till I moved to Barcelona three years ago. Suddenly, wedged between the upcoming Scottish referendum (which I’m not allowed to vote in, by the way) and Catalans’ obsession with their own self-governance bid, it’s a question I can’t seem to escape. Who knows, but I do think there’s nothing like living abroad for a sense of perspective. There are honorable, noteworthy Scots and there are Scots who are absolute cretins. I don’t think we have the monopoly on either.

    184. WolfHawk says:

      Having read through every comment I will vote yes,even at my age (71) the thought of a free Scotland raises the hairs on my neck, we as a nation needs our Hailsa for too long we have been ridiculed by our neighbours down south as nothing but (drunken hey jimmies)wrong we are a proud people who have stood by the southern’s and sent our men to fight and die in their wars we (I have been a travelling scot) have worked our way round the world gaining respect for our skills and daring yes my words are now Hailsa Hailsa….SAORSA

    185. Lilly says:

      I think that it is a mistake to assume that Humza Yousaf’s comments (whatever they may be) do not have a political agenda……..

    186. Baz Schmaz says:

      Scottish soldiers have been sent by Westminster to fight and die in far away lands because Westminster has decreed that representation by a government the people have elected is worth dying for. Yet here we are dithering over the same choice for ourselves.

    187. Cod says:

      @Morag – can you do me a favour and click on the “New readers start here” post, and check what is there?

      When I click on it, there are no links to the best posts, just a whole load of comments.

    188. Cod says:

      Ignore that last post, I’m an idiot.

      That said, the list of articles could really do with being updated, since there is nothing at all from 2014 on there.

    189. Jean Lane says:

      I read this article and I try to keep up with news my country of birth (Scotland). It seems to me that if a small country like dear Scotland would have good honest men and woman of sound charachter and compassion at their head; ie in leading Scotland, then Scotland would have a chance to live in peace AND be a good example to the rest of this world of chaos. But we have to remember that while Scotland has peace, other nations could attempt to take Scotland over and then Scotland would have to fight back to keep that peace they have so dearly loved. There will always be opposition in all things, but the good will prevail.



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